Damage to a Driver’s License in France

Over time, your driver’s license may deteriorate, causing you to get a new one. Driving without a license due to deterioration may result in a fine imposed by the traffic police. It is essential to know what to do if your driver’s license is damaged. You can obviously apply for a new license or a duplicate, but you might not know where to start. These tips will help you figure it out!

Applying for a New Driver’s License

When a driver’s license has deteriorated, it is possible to apply for a new one free of charge without taking another driving test at a driving school. To do so, you must gather certain files or supporting documents, namely:

  • Your identity card.
  • Your proof of residence.
  • A passport photo.
  • Your deteriorated driver’s license as proof.

Once you have collected these documents, you can apply directly on the website of the Agence Nationale des titres sécurisés or ANTS using the teleservice available to you. You will need to scan or photograph all of these documents to have a digital version. Make sure that they are all legible because if the images are blurred, your application may be rejected.

If this procedure seems complicated, you can get assistance. In this case, go to the Digital Point with your supporting documents. To apply for a new license online, you must register on the Agence Nationale des titres sécurisés. Once you have created your account on the site, you can access your driver’s area and start your application. Then, you choose the reason for your request, which is your driving license renewal. During the procedure, you must provide your phone number to be informed of the progress of your file. Once validated, your license will be sent to you by expert letter.

The Request for a Duplicate Driver’s License

The request for a duplicate is only possible in case of a driver’s license deterioration. It represents a copy or duplicate document that can fulfill the same functions as the original.

Be careful; duplicate driver’s and fake licenses are different. A duplicate is issued by the administration following a legal declaration made by the applicant and can replace the actual license. Once the duplicate is obtained, the old one is no longer considered. On the other hand, false permits are the result of fraud. Three administrative officials can deliver the duplicate in the application procedure, such as prefectures, sub-prefectures, and town halls. Depending on the reason for the request, you choose which administration to apply to. If you decide to apply at the prefecture, there are two options: either you apply at the counter or apply online. Depending on the country, a regional tax for the procedures related to driving licenses may be charged.

Penalties for Using a Damaged Driver’s License

During the control made by the traffic police, if all the offenses related to the violation of the Highway Code incur a fine, the presentation of a deteriorated driving license is not necessarily one of them. However, a damaged license should be replaced as soon as possible, as damaged papers are almost worthless. The traffic police can be strict or understanding, depending on the reason for the damage to your license. Sometimes they warn you about the risk of a fine or impose it directly.

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